CURRENT: The Weeknd – “Kiss Land”

The Weeknd’s star continues to rise following his string of phenomenal mixtapes released in 2011. Featured on tracks from Top 40 mainstays such as Drake, Juicy J, and French Montana, The Weeknd is finally ready to release his much anticipated debut studio LP, Kiss Land later this year. The title track was made available this week, and does nothing to suggest that Abel Tesfaye has come anywhere near peaking. The 7+ minute epic will no doubt garner some comparisons to Frank Ocean’s “Pyramids,” what with both songs including a drastic sonic change halfway through.

“Kiss Land” shows The Weeknd expressing his vulnerability once more, as he sings, “I’m a little camera shy,” before telling his seductress to put down her camera, as “the only thing you’re taking is your clothes off.” Tesfaye’s ability to balance the tightrope between crippling insecurities and hip-hop machismo has always been the most compelling aspect of his music, and with “Kiss Land,” he makes it clear that fame hasn’t altered his perceptions of himself; it somehow has expanded the gulf between his insecurities and confidence.

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